Eric Bonham, Founding Member
Eric’s engineering career, over 5 decades, has included involvement on a diverse range of water related projects, both within the UK and Canada, introducing him to work experience in consulting, the construction industry and both the federal and provincial government. Eric is a founding member of the Partnership.
During his employment with the BC Provincial Government beginning in 1969, initially with the Ministry of Environment, he was involved with design and construction of water supply and irrigation systems in the Okanagan. Joining the Fraser River Flood Control Program (FRFCP) in 1974, his role as a project manager, involved the coordination of local governments, consultants and contractors on the construction of dykes and flood control structures in the Fraser Valley. As the Director of the Floodplain Management Branch in 1982, he managed a team of specialists responsible for policy development, flood response and the delivery of flood control programs across the province.
Eric was tasked with implementing the provincial Urban Salmon Habitat Program (USHP) in 1989, involving the development of partnerships with local governments, federal fisheries and community stewards. The long term goal of the program was to engage community steward volunteers, supported by their local government, on the rehabilitation of urban streams and improvement of salmon habitat throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
In 1996 he joined the Ministry of Municipal Affairs as Director of Engineering. The ministry was responsible for the delivery of water and sewer infrastructure programs to local governments. Grants were closely aligned with conservation measures. In 1997, he contributed to the development of the Water Conservation Strategy for British Columbia as a member of the Ministry of Environment Working Group.
He served on the Board of the BC Water and Waste Association (BCWWA), was a member of the Water Sustainability Committee and chaired the Climate Change and Vancouver Island BCWWA Committees. With the formation of the PWSBC in 2010, his involvement continued on Vancouver Island under the banner of Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI).
Eric has been an active supporter of community stewardship. As a Director on the Board of the BC Lake Stewardship Society, he is involved in the development of community lake stewardship throughout the province. In 1994, he was a member of the Gowlland Foundation in the District of Highlands, that resulted, in collaboration with Nature Conservancy Canada and the Provincial Government, in the creation of the Gowlland-Tod Provincial Park. He is a firm believer in community leadership that supports the passion and commitment of local volunteers.
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012 for Community Service
Water Supply Association 2004, CWRA 2005, AWWA 2008 and BCWWA 2012. Awards received in appreciation of dedication and contribution to water management in British Columbia.
British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society 2003 Volunteer Award.
The Honorary Citizen of Victoria Award 1987 in recognition of contributions to the peace movement.
Watch the Video:
In 2020, an inspirational call to courage by Eric Bonham was framed around this theme: Mission Possible. Eric was passionate when he elaborated on how a top down bottom up strategy leads to action.